Archives Nationales (AN)

Conveniently situated next to the national library, the AN offers a wealth of material on Tunisian history. Though its archives span a wide period, the most extensive collection concerns the Protectorate. Archives relating to independence will most likely be unavailable. All materials before the Protectorate are in Arabic or Ottoman except for those relating to international relations. Additionally, much of the catalogue is in Arabic. The AN features a computer-based catalogue which is not yet available online. The staff is quite helpful.

  • Closes at 13:00 in August
  • Director : Mr. Hedi Jallab
  • Chief Librarian : Ms. Hasna Trii
  • Address : Boulevard du 9 Avril, 1002 Tunis
  • Phone : (00 216) 71 560 556
  • Photocopy : 100 ml/page
  • Access : ID, form
  • Website : www.archives.nat.tn (in French, English and Arabic)

Centre de Documentation National (CDN)

The collection of the CDN consists primarily of newspapers, notably: Tunisie Francaise (since 1900), Petit Matin (1920, Tunis Soir (1930), and Journal Officiel (1881). Particularly helpful are “dossiers de presse” treating a wide variety of subjects. Most materials are on microfilm.

  • Monday-Thursday: 8:00-18:00 / Friday and Saturday: 8:00-13:30 /Summer and Ramadan: Administrative hours 8:00-14:00
  • General secretary : Nejib Obba
  • Other contact : ask for the salle de consultation

    Publications: Le Changement, Le C.M.R.

  • Address : Avenue Mohamed Bouazizi El Menzeh B.P 84. Ariana 2080 (near the city of science, which has a distinct ‘boule bleu,’ and the Saudi Arabian Embassy.)
  • Access : Identity card
  • Phone :( 00 216) 71 704 020/ 71 704 960/ 71 704 002
  • Fax : (00 216) 71 704 017
  • Photocopy : 200ml/page
  • Membership : students: 3.000 DNT/year; non-students: 4.000 DNT/year.

Centre de Recherche, de Documentation et d’Information sur la Femme (CREDIF)

The CREDIF operates under the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs and has a small but growing collection of materials relating to women in Tunisia. Especially helpful are its bibliographic services: the center has pre-made bibliographies or will make one for you. It also has a library on Tahar Haddad, a Tunisian women’s-rights campaigner in the 1930’s.

  • Monday- Friday: 8:30 – 16:30
  • Director : Ms Rachida Tlili
  • Head Librarian : Ms Walha Boulaaziz
  • Other Staff : Ms Fatma Bilrkhisa/ Raja Younsi
  • Address : Avenue du Roi Abdelaziz-al-Saoud, Rue 7131 El Manar II (across from the Foyer des jeunes filles travailleurs)
  • Access : ID
  • Photocopy : 50 ml/page
  • Phone : (00 216) 71 885 322
  • Membership : 10.000 DNT/year.
  • Fax : (00 216) 71 887.436

Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (CERES)

  • Monday- Friday: 9:00 – 15:30
  • Address : 3 Place Ali Zouari 1000 Tunis – Tunisie
  • Access : ID
  • Director : Mr. Mohamed Abaza
  • Head Librarian : Hedia Chenkaoui
  • Photocopy : 0.30 DNT/Page
  • Phone : (00 216) 71 322 994
  • Access : ID card

Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Tunis

The library offers a wide range of materials relating to history, literature, sociology and philosophy. It has around 120,000 books, 1300 journals, and 6000 theses and memoires. The catalogue is print-based.

  • Monday – Friday: 8:30 – 18:00 / Saturday: 8:00 – 13:00
  • Director : Mr. Noureddine kredis
  • Head Librarian : Ms Hasna Yahyaoui
  • Address : Address: 94, Boulevard du 9 Avril 1934, 1007 Tunis
  • Phone : (00 216) 71 560 950
  • Access : ID, letter d’attestation

Institut des Belles Lettres Arabes (IBLA)

Founded in the 1930’s by the White Fathers, the IBLA has a large and somewhat eclectic collection of materials relating to North Africa, especially in the social sciences and literature. The library encompasses some 34,000 monographs in Arabic and Latin languages and some 150 journals. Of particular interest is their collection of newspapers (La Depeche and Al-Amal), scholarly reviews (Revue Tunisienne), and maps. IBLA also has an on-line database of its collection searchable in French and, to a lesser extent, Arabic by keyword, author, and title. (Not all of the periodicals are on the online database yet.) IBLA publishes its own journal, the Revue I

  • Hours: Monday – Friday 14:30 – 18:30; Saturday 8:00 – 12:00 / Ramadan hours: 8:30-12:30 July 9:00-12:00 closed in August.
  • Director : John Mcwilliam
  • Head Librarian : André Ferré
  • Other Contacts: Mr. Leance Zinzere
  • Location: Located off of Rue Abdel Waheb near the Casbah, the Medina, and the Faculté des Lettres
  • Address :12, rue Jemaa Al Haoua (Impasse Kradechji), 1008 Tunis
  • Phone : (00 216) 71 560 133
  • Fax : (00 216) 71 572 683
  • Access : Only researchers, access card: annual 10 TD, monthly 3 TD (+ 2 photos)
  • Photocopy : 50ml/page

Institut National du Patrimoine (INP)

The INP operates under the Ministry of Culture and contains a large collection of materials relating to archaeology, art history, ancient history, ethnology, and epigraphy Latin languages and Arabic. The library also contains Tunisian and French theses on archaeology, ancient and medieval history, numismatics and epigraphy. It has a small collection of maps and some scholarly offprints. The archives service is separate from the library and in a different facility nearby. Researchers must speak to the archives’ director before obtaining access to the catalogue or materials.

  • Library : Monday-Thursday: 8:30-15:00 / Friday and Saturday: 8:30 – 14:00 / Summer and Ramadan: 8:30 – 13:00
  • Archive : Monday – Saturday: 8:30 – 15:00 / Summer and Ramadan: 8:30 – 14:00
  • Director : Adnene Louhichi
  • Head Librarian : Ms Leila Dridi
  • Archives : Ms Ibtissem Taallah
  • Address : (library) 4, Place du Chateau, 1008 Tunis in the medina near the Kasbah, (Archives) 33 rue Tourbet El Bey, Beb Menara Tunis 1008 also in the medina
  • Access : ID, Attestation from CEMAT
  • Phone : (00 216) 71 57 41 27
  • Fax : (00 216) 71 602 452
  • Email : directiongenerale-inp@topnet.tn
  • Website : www.inp.rnrt.tn

Institut de Recherché sur le Maghreb Contemporain (IRMC)

Formerly named the CTDM, the IRMC is the French government’s equivalent of CEMAT. IRMC has a large collection of materials relating to Maghrebian social sciences and history, primarily in French with a few in Arabic, as well as useful reference works. Its monthly online publication, Correspondances, has updates about current research, as well as reviews of publications about the Maghreb. If you speak French, it is a good idea to make an appointment to meet the Director of IRMC and to ask his advice on scholars and works to consult relating to your research topic. IRMC has multiple teams of researchers who study a common theme, and they hold periodic public lectures and conferences that are useful to attend to network about your topic. More information and the IRMC catalogue can be found on the website (see below).

  • Friday: 8:30 – 15:00 / Ramadan and Summer: 8:30 – 13:30
  • Director : Mr.Fawzi Mahfoudhi
  • Head Librarian : Ines Kchok
  • Address : Campus Universitaire, 1007 La Manouba
  • Access : ID
  • Phone : (00 216) 71 600 950
  • Fax : (00 216 ) 71 600 277

Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain (IRMC)

Formerly named the CTDM, the IRMC is the French government’s equivalent of CEMAT. IRMC has a large collection of materials relating to Maghrebian social sciences and history, primarily in French with a few in Arabic, as well as useful reference works. Its monthly online publication, Correspondances, has updates about current research, as well as reviews of publications about the Maghreb. If you speak French, it is a good idea to make an appointment to meet the Director of IRMC and to ask his advice on scholars and works to consult relating to your research topic. IRMC has multiple teams of researchers who study a common theme, and they hold periodic public lectures and conferences that are useful to attend to network about your topic. More information and the IRMC catalogue can be found on the website (see below).

  • Open : 9 :00- 17 :00 / Summer: 8:30 – 14:30 / Ramadan : 8 :00-14 :00
  • Director : Ms Karima Direche
  • Head Librarian : Sawssen Fray
  • Address : 20, Rue Mohamed Ali Tahar, Mutelleville, 1002 Tunis; it is best to go by taxi. Go out the Avenue de La Liberté to the Place Pasteur, then take Jugurtha Street. Rue Mohamed Ali Tahar is to your right just past the football stadium. The building looks like a normal villa and is easy to miss.
  • Required Documents : Lettre d’attestation, passport or national ID
  • Photocopy : 70 ml/page

Observatoire Nationale de Documentation Agricole (OBDA)

Formerly the Centre National de Documentation Agricole, the ONA has a large collection of technical documents relating to agriculture in Tunisia. The largest part of its collection concerns 1956 to the 1980’s. The ONA also has begun to focus on agricultural markets. The collection is searchable onsite via their database. Most of the collection consists of microfiches, and they also receive Tunisian dissertations concerning agricultural sciences.

  • Open : 9 :00 – 17:00 / Summer: 8:30 – 14 :00 / Friday: 8:00– 14:00
  • Director : Habib Amamou
  • Phone : (00 216) 71 801 478
  • Fax : (00 216) 71 801 055

Centre d’Etudes Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT)

CEMAT is the American Research Center in Tunis, one of three centers under the American Institute for Maghribi Studies (AIMS) (the other two are TALM in Tangier and CEMA in Oran). CEMAT has a two-room library specializing in works in English about North Africa. The library includes about 2000 books and about 1000 theses, plus journals and collections of press clippings and miscellaneous articles by topic area. The Library is non-circulating; the materials must be consulted in the Library and cannot be checked out. Use of the Library and entrance to CEMAT lectures and conferences is free to all. Use of CEMAT’s wireless internet facility and consultation with CEMAT staff for research permits and affiliation documents are by membership.

  • Open : 8:00 – 16:00, Monday through Friday, closed week-ends
  • Director : Laryssa Chomiak
  • Assistant Director: Mr Riadh Saadaoui
  • Address : Impasse Menabrea, 19 bis, rue d’Angleterre, Tunis
  • Mailing Address : B.P. 404, 1049 Tunis-Hached, Tunisia
  • Phone : (00 216) 71.326.219
  • Fax : (00 216) 71.328.378
  • Membership :students: Go AIMS website ( http://aims.org/ )
  • Photocopy : TD 0.050 (50 millimes)/page

Beit el-Bennani.

Beit el-Bennani is an unusual library, created and maintained by Mr. Mohamed Bennani. It is located in an old courtyard house on the West edge of the Tunis medina. The East room contains a collection of 923 catalogued books and the West room is a book bindery. About two thirds of the books are in French and some other Western languages and the rest are in Arabic, and some are still uncatalogued. The books are works from the 19thand 20th centuries, and a few even older. The library also has a collection of about about 9,000 old photographs and negatives of Tunisia which are currently being catalogued. The library does not yet have a website but is working on one. Books available for use on the premises, although even more valuable is the advice of Mr. Bennani. If you discuss your topic with him he can tell you the books and scholars in Tunisia that deal with it. For the initiated, the Beit el-Bannani has a vegetable cous-cous every Wednesday; people come between noon and 1:30 and the cous-cous is at 1:30.

  • Open: 8:30 am – 7 pm / Summer and Ramadan hours: 8 am – 2 pm
  • Director : Mohamed Bennani
  • Address : 11bis Boulevard Bab Menara, Tunis
  • Mailing address: 11bis Boulevard Bab Menara, 1008 Tunis
  • Phone : (00 216) 98.24.37.99
  • Fax : none
  • Membership : no fees
  • Photocopy : available at a nearby shop for TD 0.030/page
  • Website : none as yet, but one is envisaged

Bibliothèque des sciences des religions (Bibliothèque diocésaine).

The library holds about 25,000 books, mainly in French and Arabic. Most of the material concerns three areas of interest: (1) religious sciences (history of religions, comparative studies, psychology of religion, sociology of religion, etc.), (2) intercultural and interreligious dialogue; and (3) history of Tunisia (particularly the history of Christianity in the region). The library receives around twenty specialized journals. A large part of the library’s holdings have already been catalogued (Universal Decimal Classification) and computerized (CDS/ISIS database software). The database contains more than 60,000 entries (books, articles, documents) and is keyword searchable. Readers consult books on the library premises, thus ensuring that all documents are continually available. It is possible to photocopy books and other documents not readily available.

  • Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday by appointment / Summer and Ramadan Hours: Ramadan: No change in the hours of operation; July: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; August: Closed
  • Director : Marc LEONARD
  • Assistant Director : Sœur Monique
  • Address : 9, rue Sidi Saber (in the Medina of Tunis, the 4th street to the right when you take the Rue Djamaâ Ezzitouna from Bab Bhar/Porte de France)
  • Mailing Address : 9, rue Sidi Saber, 1008 Tunis Bab Menara, Tunisie
  • Phone : (00 216) 71.327.174
  • Fax : (00 216) 71.335.832
  • Membership : Readers’ cards are valid for a year (20 dinars), three months (10 dinars) or one month (5 dinars). Two passport photos and photocopy of identity card are needed.
  • Photocopy : Maximum 50 copies a day. 100 ml/ Page

Other Libraries.

If you find other libraries or documentation sources that might be useful to scholars studying Tunisia, we invite you to share them. Below is a template for the information you should gather about the resource. Send us the annotation (to cemat@aimsnorthafrica.org) and we will add it to this list.